Sunday, July 20, 2008

Why MAG won't have the SOCOM name

Kotaku just put up a new article on MAG. Apparently one of the focus testers that Sony interviewed prior to MAG's announcement, spoke out anonymously. Early on in the article Kotaku seems convinced that MAG will carry SOCOM-branding;

It will more than likely carry SOCOM branding, as Zipper Interactive is behind it. And if so, it could be called SOCOM: Shadow War or SOCOM: Zero.

I sent Kotaku an email, simply explaining to them why it definitely won't have the SOCOM brand attached to it, if Sony isn't run by idiots. I'll let you read the email;

I run a SOCOM blog for hardcore fans of the franchise. I just read your article on MAG, and you and Orange seemed convinced that MAG will have the SOCOM brand. You are probably unaware, and curious why MAG wasn't announced with the SOCOM brand attached to it. To understand this you need a little history of the franchise and its fans, but I'll try to give you a quick overview.

SOCOM fans loved SOCOM 1 & 2, generating upwards of 40,000 unique players online at once every night, it was obviously a huge game for Sony. But then with SOCOM 3 Zipper attempted something different by making it 32 players (compared to 16 players of the first two), and adding vehicles and large open maps to the game. The fan base was not happy, and there was a VERY quick drop-off of players.

When SOCOM Confrontation was announced to be "going back to it's roots", removing vehicles and large open maps, and concentrating on what made SOCOM 1 & 2 so great, the fanbase was extremely excited. What may surprise you as well is that we were also very happy that a new developer what taking over the franchise, Slant Six. Zipper was extremely poor at community relations and QA, among other things. Slant Six has been nothing short of spectacular so far, and SCEA has also been extremely supportive by adding a new Community Relations manager and allowing into their Playstation-blog family.

The reason MAG wasn't announced with the SOCOM name and that you won't see that brand attached to it is three-fold. One, the community would be outraged. Two, with a new franchise it's a lot easier for new players to feel welcomed to try it out. And three, it would cause a drop off of players in Confrontation just like SOCOM 3 caused a drop off of SOCOM 2 players, regardless of how different those experiences were, and Sony is very aware of this. Why would they want to chance throwing away one of their key fanbases who are extremely dedicated and are easy money makers for DLC by introducing a radically different SOCOM game, when they can instead keep the SOCOM Confrontation fanbase AND also build an entirely new online fanbase with a new franchise such as MAG.

David Doel
Our podcast is found at

I'd like to hear the community's feedback. Are your feelings similar to mine and are you happy MAG doesn't have the SOCOM name? Let me know.


Derek Ferreira said...

Dave, I think your right. MAG is totally different because its basically a whole brigade vs. whole brigade and not a Spec. ops vs. Terr/mercs. Its got vehicles, helo's , and planes to give it a more well rounded battle. I think most people wont realize this until the get a playable demo of MAG but I think thats about a year away(next e3?)

e_alexander_chavez said...

I agree with you David, and I'm very glad (and certainly hope) that MAG will not carry the Socom name, for all the same reasons. I would hate to see a drop off in the Confrontation user base because this game might have the Socom branding. I'd also be sick to my stomache watching all these game journalists heralding this MAG game as "The REAL Socom".

I think Sony knows they can make more money by making MAG a brand new IP, rather than branding it with the name of an old one.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm glad MAG won't have the SOCOM name, for the same reason you discussed in the podcast. It would take the thunder away from Confrontation and it wouldn't be anything like SOCOM.

Hellman, there are people reading the blog and listening the podcast.

Keep up the good work, and hopefully Slant Six / Sony / Zipper are listening to the podcast, they need some wisdom on SOCOM franchise I hear haahah